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Globe On A Globe

September 30 2009 | 1 comment
Categories: Cartographic Effects, Symbology

Greetings from India.

It was thrilling for me to receive your prompt reply to my previous inquiry "Extruded Land" in Ask a Cartographer. I look forward to your future blog posting on how to do this.

Meanwhile, I have another question which I cannot wait to ask you.  I have attached a word doc containing the map which was used at an ESRI presentation named "Map making with ArcGIS" in 2008 at the end of which a slide was shown similar to the one I have attached. May I have the privilege of asking you how to make an 'exact' map like the one shown, but with a map of India instead ??

Can you please walk me through with the steps on making this beautiful map ?? Also please write steps for putting a drop shadow around the globe. The globe looks as if it is over and above the map underneath giving it a 3 dimensional look and feel. It is one of the most beautiful maps I have ever seen.

Thank you for your expert guidance and help.

Mapping Center Answer:

The blog post is now there at:

To answer your new question, this is pretty simple -- it is really jsut a data frame that is being placed over another data frame.  This map is documented on the Mapping Center Maps tab though not all the instructions are there step by step -- but the data are there so you can try some of the things out yourself!

I can't take the time right now to write up how to create a map exactly like the one you attached an image of, but these would be the basic steps:

Use three data frames:

In the first data frame create a map that uses The World from Space projection -- like the one we described in the blog post noted above - but change the parameters so that they are centered on India -- I used 80 for the longitude of center and -10 for the latitide of center.  Symbolize it so that the elevation is shown -- if you want to save some time, use the data from Natural Earth: - this will stop you having to create the land representation. Add the World30 graticule from the ESRI Data and Maps DVD and symbolize it with black lines.  To emphasize the location of India, I added the Country data layer from the ESRI Data and Maps DVD and I symbolized it using a black fill and a black outline. Set the data frame background color to None. We'll call this the "Entire World" data frame.

Copy and paste that data frame and place the copy under the Entire World data frame.  (Use the Order option on the Draw toolbar to change the viewing arrangement of the data frames.)  Symbolize the World30 data so that it is filled in with black and has no outline.  Shift the location of the data frame so that it is a little lower and a little more to the right of the data frame on top. Call this the "Shadow" data frame.

Copy and paste the Entire World data frame one more time and place it under the other two data frames.  Call this the "India" data frame. Make the data frame background black. On this map in the back, zoom to the area that you want to show -- I zoomed in so that India was pretty much in the center of the page (tabloid sized 11x17 page.)

Here is a rough first cut (shwon below).  You could further modify this to look more like the attachment you sent.  This would require replacing the terrain representation furhter.  Note that you cannot at this time achieve the graded shadow effect or the illumination on the glove - except to a limited extent through the tricks we talked about in the blog entry noted above.

India from Space

Known rasterization issues posted by Aileen Buckley on Oct 1 2009 10:24AM
A colleague pointed out to me that the solution presented above will look fine on the computer screen but there will be problems when it is printed out due to rasterization issues that are well known. Here are some links that document this issue:

A work around is to output the small globe map as a graphic image with a transparent background. Then you could add the image as a data layer to the main map data frame and use the georeferencing tools to position it where you want to on the map.

An alternative to setting the background color as trrnsparent is to set it to a solid color otherwise not present in the image (e.g. magenta, in this case), then you can set that value to be represented by no color in the raster layer properties.

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